Books

The 7th Function of Language

Laurent Binet (and others)

'One of the funniest, most riotously inventive and enjoyable novels you’ll read this year' - Observer

Roland Barthes is knocked down in a Paris street by a laundry van. It’s February 1980 and he has just come from lunch with Francois Mitterrand, a slippery politician locked in a battle for the Presidency. Barthes dies soon afterwards. History tells us it was an accident.

But what if it were an assassination? What if Barthes was carrying a document of unbelievable, global importance? A document explaining the seventh function of language – an idea so powerful it gives whoever masters it the ability to convince anyone, in any situation, to do anything.

Police Captain Jacques Bayard and his reluctant accomplice Simon Herzog set off on a chase that takes them from the corridors of power and academia to backstreet saunas and midnight rendezvous. What they discover is a worldwide conspiracy involving the President, murderous Bulgarians and a secret international debating society.

In the world of intellectuals and politicians, everyone is a suspect. Who can you trust when the idea of truth itself is at stake?

You Will Not Have My Hate

Antoine Leiris (and others)

'A beacon of hope in a dark world' Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Pool

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Guardian and Observer

This inspiring and courageous book is a guiding star for us all in troubled times.

One night last winter, Antoine Leiris was at home looking after his son while his wife, Hélène, was at a concert with friends. Suddenly he started receiving text messages asking if he was ok. Turning on the TV, Antoine watched the terrorist attacks in Paris unfolding around him and tried to call Hélène. She didn’t answer. That night Hélène was killed, along with 88 other people, at the Bataclan Theatre.

Three days later, Antoine wrote an open letter to his wife’s killers on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his baby son’s life be defined by their acts. ‘For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom,’ he wrote. Instantly, that short post caught fire and was shared thousands of times around the world.

You Will Not Have My Hate is an extraordinary and heartbreaking memoir which teaches us how to respond to a world full of hatred with generosity and love. This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor, and a universal message of hope and resilience.

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Ukraine Diaries

Andrey Kurkov (and others)

-16°C, sunlight, silence. I drove the children to school, then went to see the revolution. I walked between the tents. Talked with rev­olutionaries. They were weary today. The air was thick with the smell of old campfires.

Ukraine Diaries is acclaimed writer Andrey Kurkov’s first-hand account of the ongoing crisis in his country. From his flat in Kiev, just five hundred yards from Independence Square, Kurkov can smell the burning barricades and hear the sounds of grenades and gunshot.

Kurkov’s diaries begin on the first day of the pro-European protests in November, and describe the violent clashes in the Maidan, the impeachment of Yanukovcyh, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the separatist uprisings in the east of Ukraine. Going beyond the headlines, they give vivid insight into what it’s like to live through – and try to make sense of – times of intense political unrest.

HHhH

Laurent Binet (and others)

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services, 'the hangman of Prague', 'the blond beast', 'the most dangerous man in the Third Reich'. His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says 'Himmler's brain is called Heydrich', which in German spells HHhH.

HHhH is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is a moving and shattering work of fiction.
Laurent Binet's highly anticipated new novel, The Seventh Function of Language, is available for pre-order now...

Biography

Sam Taylor